I want to invest in the cannabis industry. Where should I start?
March 2, 2018 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Cannabis is probably the fastest-growing and well-funded industry these days and I want to get in on it. Googling gives me a lot of trolls and spam and nothing useful.

Are there online groups, chatrooms, Slack channels or other resources that you know of?

I understand that there are no FDIC or federal regulations of any kind on these kinds of investments and that crossing state borders with product is illegal. I have no desire to do anything illegal but there must be someplace I can put my money that will lead to returns.

I'm in Oregon where recreational pot is legal. I have relatives in Colorado and Washington that I'm positive would help if I wanted to set up an LLC or whatever might be appropriate.
posted by bendy to Work & Money (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Stash Corporate Cannabis
posted by Red Desk at 11:26 PM on March 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

My brother is a cannabis entrepreneur in Virginia. I would be happy to connect you with him.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 4:37 AM on March 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Look up Arcview.
posted by jtexman1 at 5:12 AM on March 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Arkansas is in the process of getting their medical marijuana industry started. This past week they approved the 5 cultivators that will be growing, but I don't think they have awarded the dispensary licenses yet. There may be opportunity to be a financial investor with a dispensary. The dispensary licenses are $10,000 per year which has ticked off a lot of people who wanted this to be an opportunity for an entrepreneur (as opposed to already wealthy business people who may be friends with legislators and therefore get preferential treatment) so if you have money to invest I'm sure someone in Arkansas would welcome the opportunity.

At this time I don't know who is prepping to apply for a dispensary license in AR. You might be able to connect with someone on one of the sites others have listed.
posted by MultiFaceted at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yup, start with Arcview.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:44 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just be forewarned there is a lot of fraud in this space.
posted by JPD at 9:30 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

The usual warning that just because an industry is booming and billions of dollars are going through it, doesn't mean there are big profits for you to benefit from. Like other businesses, the cannabis industry is very competitive which keeps prices low, lots of people are rushing into it, and very few are making more than a living wage on it if they are lucky.

Eventually there may be consolidation in which 95% go out of business. Picking the few winners 10 years from now is just rolling the dice. The people most likely to benefit are the grifters who suck in naive investors and fleece them.
posted by JackFlash at 9:32 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's an industry that is likely to grow. It's also an industry in which there's a history of crime and violent crime, so there are still many sketchy people who want huge profits and have no scruples. And plenty of people who like pot and decide to grow and sell it, and who are ordinary business people. You might want to consider affiliated businesses, like packaging, pipes, edible-related products, and whatever else. Talk to Ms. Vegetable's brother.
posted by theora55 at 11:40 AM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have been involved in the business in my state off and on, and from what I've seen, people looking to invest would do well to learn from the gold rush. Digging holes was a very unreliable way to get rich, but selling shovels was a pretty sure bet.
Look into grow lamps, prefab grow room enclosures, papers, pipes, and other accouterments, equipment for making extracts, THC content testing labs, etc. Don't try to compete with the people slanging. Find out what THEIR needs are where there is little competition.
posted by Krawczak at 11:51 AM on March 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

I've also been curious especially about investing in POC-owned businesses in this space. I agree it's tough to find reliable info and there's some measure of uncertainty added by the new fed perspective / Sessions. I would also look for personal connections rather than trying to connect with strangers.
posted by kalapierson at 8:29 PM on March 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks for all the great answers all.

Stash Cannabis looks like a great place to start.

Sadly Arcview wants an initial $10K investment and I'm not there now.

I agree that the peripheral industries are probably the best and safest to get into right now.

Ms Vegetable I'm MeMailing you.
posted by bendy at 4:32 PM on March 4, 2018

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